June 25th @ 8pm Curated by Leagues O'Toole
"For the Places of Comfort project I invited three artists living in or native to Cork to create new work based on the idea of a place they were drawn to during the lockdown periods of the COVID-19 pandemic when our movements in Ireland were restricted to a 5km radius and many of us found ourselves moving in circles or loops, rethreading certain routes, and observing the same local landmarks.
In some circumstances, through the limitations we lived under we found ourselves rediscovering or more closely examining where we lived, the infrastructure of the nature and the land most immediately around our doorstep. The impact of the restrictions and the pause of activity and sense of claustrophobia - and in some cases intense loneliness - brought huge mental challenges for many people. At times, I felt myself and probably others were drawn to certain spots to find a place of reflection or comfort, a place were I could breathe for a few minutes and distract myself from the anxiety of the uncertainty of the pandemic.
I have always valued artists as the individuals in our society best equipped to articulate social anxieties, moods and change. Through this expression we can relate, connect and feel comforted in one another's shared experience. I asked three artists whose work was grounded in music but very much drew upon other disciplines of visual art and literature to facilitate and elaborate on the concepts and narratives of their work.
The third artist I invited was Toby Kaar, an artist I've known for many years, primarily for his work in producing cutting edge electronic music often inspired by unusual influences. I've always had a sense that Toby was very in touch with his hometown of Cork, invested in the local music scenes and its native artists and initiatives and keen to contribute as a performer, DJ, producer and collaborator. After spells in Dublin and London he has been back living in Cork the last few years and enjoying something of a creative surge during the pandemic lockdowns despite being simultaneously busy with study and other interests. I expect what he produces for this project will be both typically unique but also full of personal emotion." - Leagues O'Toole
Toby Kaar has been a stalwart of the Irish electronic music scene for the last decade, with releases and live shows that left a sparkling impression on many. Having grown up in Cork, Toby returned to the city three years ago, and since then has been quietly putting in work on the next step in his musical journey. The lockdowns led to his most prolific period in years, seeing him release a new batch of music for the first time since 2016, as well as contributing production work to a range of different media projects. As he prepares to leave Cork once more, it is only fitting that Toby composes a piece dedicated to a city that has always brought him comfort and a sense of stability.